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COVID-19 Update 4th November 2020

Here’s today’s update. The Lockdown regulations (The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020) have been just been voted upon in parliament and passed without much fuss. However, the more detailed guidance to answer many of your outstanding queries is not yet available but this will be sent it through as soon as it is published.


  • Addendum on Local Restriction Grant Support

The Government has published confirmation that, when the national lockdown starts, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and (Sector) will cease to apply, and the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will be superseded by the national Business Grant. This means that businesses will not be eligible for multiple versions of the various Support Grants while under the national lockdown.


  • Question on Grant Eigibility

Baroness Doocey tabled the following question regarding eligibility for grants in response to the Government’s announcement of a new national lockdown. The answer suggests that the Government will not include any eligibility criteria to local authorities on how they should allocate these grants, meaning that all tourism-related businesses will be eligible to apply.


Baroness Doocey (LD)

My Lords, the tourism and hospitality industries have been thrown into confusion by the latest announcements. Tour operators, conference and events organisers, coach operators and language schools are important components of the travel industry. Will these firms be eligible to claim either the local restrictions support grants or any of the £1.1 billion given to local authorities to support businesses?


Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)

Both the pots of money the noble Baroness mentions are under the control of local authorities, and it is entirely up to them to decide which sectors or types of business to support in their area. It is within their gift to provide support, if they have businesses in those sectors, as the money is for them to provide to local businesses, which they know best.


  • WTTC Forecast

The WTTC have updated their Coronavirus impact scenarios for the UK Travel & Tourism sector and are forecasting that believe 2.4 million jobs could be lost in the UK Travel & Tourism sector in 2020 if barriers to global travel remain in place. Here’s a link to their press release. While it is important to note that the WTTC figures include supply chains, which is why they differ from the ONS figures of 3.2m people working in tourism-related businesses in the UK, their prediction that around 60% of jobs in the sector could be lost is of considerable concern.


  • Rural Payments Agency Update

The Rural Payments Agency has issued a statement to reassure farmers and rural businesses that it will meet its regulatory targets and do not cause any delay to payments during the national lock down period.
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